A Boy in Winter
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
A Times Book of the Year 2017
Seiffert packs a great deal into a small amount of space. Her prose style resembles a cello onstage played in the pitch dark. Sonorous and somber and yet what use it makes of just a few notes. Boston Globe
‘It is a story of hope and mercy in the darkest of times. Once started, it will be difficult to put it down.’ The Washington Book Review – editor’s pick
‘This novel truly shines in its offering of diverse, authentic perspectives…. an accomplished literary work.’ Booklist
‘All the notes of the Holocaust song, including the rare ray of hope, are played in this spare, fast-moving novel.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘Seiffert is a master at creating tension and empathy.’ Observer
‘A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat, hope and change in wartime.’ Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
‘Rachel Seiffert is a prize-winning author, and it shows. Her descriptions are succinct and brilliant. One day it may rank as a classic of the Wild East.’ Jewish Chronicle
A superb, delicately poised and deeply disturbing novel.’ FInancial Times
‘Seiffert’s cool tone never wavers, and her spare, beautiful prose is a joy to read.’ Helen Dunmore, The Guardian
‘Seiffert’s writing is spare and atmospheric, perfectly paced to achieve the maximum effect… And at times evokes Anne Michael’s great Holocaust novel Fugitive pieces.’ TLS
‘Unsettling and powerful – a magnificent novel.’ Linda Grant
‘a painful but compelling read.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘a reminder and a warning about what happens when people are treated as less than human.’ Australian Public Sector News
‘like watching the smoulder of a slow-burning wick moving toward a dynamite explosion’ Good Reading, Australia
Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS.
Deft, spare and devastating, this extraordinary novel tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process.
A Boy In Winter is a story of hope when all is lost, and of mercy when the times have none.
‘They won’t take us today. Not today, that’s all,’ Miryam says.
Ephraim nods. He has to. He thinks his stubborn wife is right; the Germans will still be looking, after all, for all of those still hidden. Their boys included.
He turns away, leaning himself forward on their one trunk of belongings, and it eases the ache in his back a little, but does nothing for the ache inside him.
How much longer?
‘A writer of great delicacy and toughness.’- Ali Smith
Nominated for the Booker Prize in 2001; one of Granta's 'Best of Young British Novelists' in 2003; longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2007, 2014 and 2017; awarded the EM Forster Award in 2011 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.-
'Ms Seiffert’s prose is not showy, but graceful and precise... a gleam in the darkness that readers haven’t seen before.'- The Economist
'Seiffert's writing is careful, deliberate, impressively honest.'- Irish Times